Life & Ramblings

from where i stand

Oh, boy – It’s been a while. (Again.)

So, here I am, sheepishly sliding back into this corner of the interwebz that we call mine, to talk about – well – what am I going to talk about?

Let’s work backwards from now to the last time I was on here.

I’m in London. I’m OK, I think. I was not OK a few months ago. I was not really OK a few weeks ago. I’m not entirely OK now. But, I’m a lot more OK than I was in November, and that’s good. That’s really good.

Each week I probably go through four major crises, twenty three minor ones, and seventy six minuscule ones, but I’m slowly figuring it out, day by day.

So, I guess what to talk about now is why I’m in London. Much to everyone’s everlasting disappointment, I decided to quit school for now. (I’m just trying to be glad I didn’t quit being alive, to be honest.) My first semester of university was kind of awful for me.

It wasn’t all bad all the time, of course, and it wasn’t all bad right from the beginning. I started with a lot of hope. I tried hard to make it work. I tried hard to haul ass and persist (jianchi is a Mandarin Chinese word that my parents and I throw back and forth like a religious code to adhere to) and wake up every day and look forward to what I would do in the coming years. It just didn’t work out. I could sit here and think for weeks about what went on (crying/sleeping endlessly, not eating, skipping class, wallowing) and why (history of #depression triggered by stressors?) and how I could’ve prevented it (never becoming depressed in the first place when I was 15), but I’ve been doing that, and I’m not sure it’s helping. So I’m trying to look back, learn a little, and then move forward, without stopping to beat myself up along the way.

I’m in London now. I’m living at home, with my parents. I’m trying to do things I used to enjoy, like painting and reading. I’m doing the Couch to 5K running plan. I’m crying less. I’m working on Feeling OK again.

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Camera Obscura in Edinburgh

I have some snaps that I want to share from the past – jeez, how long has it been? – seven months.

For a while my boyfriend and I sent daily mirror selfies of the outfit we wore that day to each other. I realized pretty quickly that I wear black and blue all the time, that I know how to do maybe 4.5 things with my hair, and also that I have no idea how to pose myself (specifically, my legs) for photos.

My aunt and cousin came to visit us from China, so we took them to Cambridge. This was the Fitzwilliam Museum there, which I loved, because I love all art museums like the way I love cats and potatoes.

Edinburgh is, to be fair, lovely. The National Museum of Scotland is the most gorgeous place to wander through, and J.K. Rowling started writing Harry Potter at The Elephant House café, So, you know, 10 out of 10 would rec to a friend as a tourist destination.

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At the end of all that, though, I wasn’t doing well there. Maybe I would have thrived somewhere else. Maybe I wouldn’t have. I don’t know, and I don’t think it’s of any use wondering.

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the view from the Galata Tower in Istanbul

Over Winter break my family and I went to Istanbul, Turkey for just under a week. My brother’s best friend from back home in California is Turkish, and their family was going back for the holidays, so we got to see them (and use them as tour guides/translators lol) as well as tourist it up. I’m afraid I didn’t take many photos, as December was kind of the month where all my bad feelz came to a head, so I only have a few to share now. One of them is of a pair of majestic cats guarding a cemetery, though!!!!

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the aforementioned majestic cemetery cats

That’s something about Istanbul I really, really, really enjoyed. Everywhere you go there are a couple dogs and cats just roaming around, and the people there – shopkeepers, café owners – take care of them like their own. They’re super friendly as a result, and we pet so many cats that I almost missed our own Watson and Luna a little less.

We made a day trip to see the ruins of Troy, which was super cool, and we also saw the Trojan Horse used for that Brad Pitt movie, which was also cool but not quite as cool haha.

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Speaking of cats, though, this is a good time to mention that my fur daughter Luna is in the care of my boyfriend right now and then throw in a couple photos from him featuring Luna looking like the most perfect ambassador to her species. Look at her eyes! Her little paw paws! Her imploring gaze to ask you to rejoice at her worm gift! Her FLOOF!!!!! Ugh, I’m not sorry at all. If I can ever be the craziest cat and dog lady to ever roam the Earth, that’ll be my greatest achievement as a human.

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an art museum gift shop with a quote from Ai Weiwei on the base of a bobblehead

London during Christmas was magic, but then again, London anytime is magic, and anywhere during Christmas is magic. But I love London, and I love Christmas, so put them together and – magic magic magic.

A quick doodle inspired-slash-stolen from Anna Rifle Bond’s work + a Waterstone’s sign featuring a cat asking you to read more books.

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a Lululemon window display that is at once cliché as hell and a bit inspiring, too

This is the view from where I stand. It’s not a field of roses with the sun beaming down and an ice tea in hand as I prance around in a gingham sundress. It’s not a bleak pit drenching me in icy rain while spiders (probably my biggest physical fear, because my other major fears are abstract ones like ‘failure’ and ‘abandonment’) crawl around on top of my face. It’s more like a calm and stormy ocean with a boat I’m learning to steer.

OK, so that’s where I am right now. My hope is that I’ll keep up blogging a little more, just as a fun thing to do for myself and to ~connect with others a bit. My family’s going to Paris(!!!) in a couple days for spraaaaang break, so that’ll be a travel photo diary. I’m going to try as hard as I can to reflect on myself, learn more about myself, and move forward, and I hope this can be a good space to document these things.

I’ll leave you with a quote from a TED talk that stuck with me and is now in my bullet journal.

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Dusting off my hopes and my heart,

Maxine

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